For my non-German speakers, that reads “No Circumcision for you!”
(Just as an aside and to warn you, there is not going to be a conclusion to this post… just questions and what ifs. But to be clear, before you continue reading, I am against circumcision.)
Part of me is cheering over this ruling. I don’t believe in the validity of circumcision, and the hubs has shared that if this is a male child, he does not care if he is circ’d or not. I won’t lie, I see circumcision as cruel and unusual. You take a brand new baby boy, fresh out of the womb, strap him down on a table, maybe anesthetize him and cut off a ring of flesh from around his penis. If you are a circ’d male reader, you may be thinking: “Well, I don’t remember it and I turned out fine.” Which may be true, but there are a number of little boys who have lost the tip of their penis or even died from a botched circ. Even if the circ is “flawless,” the baby is put into a pretty severe amount of pain, which continues on as the wound heals. Add to the fact that the wound is in his diaper area which comes into (sterile) urine and (not-sterile) feces multiple times a day.
Proponents of circ will cite the cleanliness factor, the fact that there is not a risk of painful penile adhesions, the fact that the child will (most likely) look like his father, that he will not be mocked in the locker room, that there is a decreased chance of contracting HPV or HIV if he has multiple sexual partners, and that it will be easier to care for him when he is 80 and in a nursing home.
I don’t buy it.
But here’s the rub:
Right now, Catholics are fighting for religious liberty here and against a governmental mandate. If you are a Jewish family living in Germany, circumcision may be part of your culture… a pretty important part. Little Jewish boys are circ’d 8 days after their birth at a family ceremony. It is a ritual that has gone back for millennia, back to Abraham. Adult males who convert to Judaism are required to shed a drop of blood from their penis (circ’d or uncirc’d) to fulfill the covenant established between the Jewish people and God. There is no religious exemption against Germany’s circ ban, just as (as of right now) there is no religious exemption against the mandate.
But at the same time:
Female Genital Mutilation is seen as a religious, ritual practice in parts of Africa and in some Arab cultures. Some acts are as benign as the removal of the clitoral hood (this would be most similar to male circumcision) to the more extreme surgical removal of the inner and outer labia and clitoris, with the wound stitched closed leaving a small opening for urine and menstrual blood.
Male Circumcision is only a small part of Jewish customs and rules. Does every observant Jewish person follow every law as laid out in the Torah? Does the fact that this is The Covenant elevate it above any other law? (If I have any Jewish readers, I’d love to hear your knowledge!)
You can ask just about anyone about FGM and they will unequivocally say that it’s not right… even if it is for religious reasons.
So why should male circumcision be any different?
And should parents have a say?
You have thoughts! Share them!
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